D.V. Info

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As fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and
editor-in-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland-and her passion, charm,
insouciance, and genius for style--energized and inspired the fashion
world for fifty years. In this glittering autobiography she takes us
around the world with her, revealing her obsession with fashion high and
low--pink plastic poodles, for example--and dropping timeless sayings
like, "As you know, the French like the French very much." A fabulous,
witty read.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for D.V.:

5

October 11, 2003

SUPER FABULOUS DIVINE FIERCE!!!
Ok, so, I picked up this book because it was mentioned in the movie To Wong Foo and I thought, "Well this better be fabulous!"
Boi was fabulous an understatement! Why can't I give this book 6 stars?!?!
This is one of the few books where I can agree with all of the fluffy praise quotes peppering the cover LOL
A simply gorgeous work, Diana Vreeland is a fabulous, fabulous woman! Such taste! Such elegance! Such style! This is a MUST READ for everyone that wants an example of a true lady!
D.V. isn't just about clothes and decorating. While admittingly not a feminist, Mrs. Vreeland is obviously an independent, determined, disciplined woman who is, if not a role model, an inspiration to all!
God, I can't even put into words the qualities of this book that are just overwhelmingly fabulous! Its like anything full of good taste (although, as Diana points out, alittle bad taste is needed sometimes, its NO taste that's truly revolting) and true elegance, it leaves one feeling better about themselves and the world around them.
5

October 5, 2004

Fabulous fun!
The only complaint I could make about this book is that it was too brief. I could have read this for weeks, and I would have loved another couple thousand pages. There is a paucity of photos, which is a shame, because Vreeland loved the camera as much as it obviously loved her strong, aristocratic features. Some people might dismiss her as a featherweight, but I wouldn't. To do so, would be to fail to understand a singularly fascinating woman. During her time on earth she met most of the big and small names, and has something to say about most of them. I was so enamoured of this small book, that I am going to have to buy a biography. When you read this book, she tells you everything and nothing personal at the same time. A rare gift, to be sure, and not one that I appreciated! As someone else noted, it seems a great pity to only be able to give this delicious tour de force 5 stars, but there you are: life is seldom fair. I would love to have a best friend as fascinating and maddening as Vreeland, but I doubt I ever will. She is a product of another time and another generation. If you ever wanted to be able to sit inside someone's head and watch them think, this book should do the trick. There are better writers and better subjects than D.V. but this book will spoil you for any of them.
1

May 6, 2002

Not what I was expecting
When I first read all the fabulous reviews about this book, I was thinking it would be like reading about other independent, strong, iconic women of this era - Coco Chanel and the like. Boy was I wrong! Instead I read the musings of a completely shallow, totally self-involved fashionista. I struggled to read each chapter, wondering when she would do anything of substance or meaning. I mean, the woman wouldn't even leave Paris during WWII until the last possible moment (her husband had already fled) because she couldn't bear to leave the couture houses! She even claimed that she was the person who is responsible for the creation of quickdry nail polish and Revlon - pretty far-fetched if you ask me. Every memory about important events in her life was associated not with the event itself but with what she was wearing.
I realize that you have to appreciate the book for what it is - her own experience of the world in the times in which she lived. I guess I just couldn't relate and I doubt anyone who looks for autobiographies about women of some substance would either.
0

Feb 13, 2010

I really adored this book. It's not written. Instead, it's rather obvious that the editors, George Plimpton and Christopher Hemphill, just sat down with Mrs. Vreeland and let her talk, and then pretty much transcribed the conversation as it had happened. And, boy, can she talk! A mile a minute is a conservative estimate. You zip through this book because you find yourself reading it as quickly as it was said. And it's full of italics! Vreeland's excitement and enthusiasm for whatever it is she's I really adored this book. It's not written. Instead, it's rather obvious that the editors, George Plimpton and Christopher Hemphill, just sat down with Mrs. Vreeland and let her talk, and then pretty much transcribed the conversation as it had happened. And, boy, can she talk! A mile a minute is a conservative estimate. You zip through this book because you find yourself reading it as quickly as it was said. And it's full of italics! Vreeland's excitement and enthusiasm for whatever it is she's talking about are evident on the page.

What a life she led. Raised in a rawther social family, in London and Paris and New York, she married banker Reed Vreeland at the age of nineteen, and he was clearly the love of her life. She knew everyone, from Josephine Baker to Jacqueline Onassis with the Windsors in between, practically invented red, was fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar for twenty-six years and editor-in-chief at Vogue for eight, and ended her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

Remarks like "Unshined shoes are the end of civilization" and the famous "Pink is the navy blue of India" make Vreeland seem superficial. And, indeed, she herself said that she adored artifice. But she was also a very insightful, practical, intelligent and hard-working woman. She rightly says that the books one has read are the way you find out about a person. And although she says, "I stopped reading -- seriously reading -- years ago, she can talk about Tolstoy and kept The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon next to her bed.

If Chanel brought fashion kicking and screaming into the 20th-century, it was Vreeland (who adored and patronized Chanel) who made it part of the life of the woman-on-the-street. ...more
2

Aug 16, 2012

I'd been recommended this book before but only just now got around to reading it since I saw the trailer for "The Eye Has To Travel." I liked "The September Issue" and I planned on seeing this one since I actually like fashion documentaries.

I wanted to rate this book higher, but I just couldn't do it. I read an edition from 1984 and it seemed like in later editions there were some additions to the text. I can see that.

On to the book: It was a slow start on this one. There's no doubt that Diana I'd been recommended this book before but only just now got around to reading it since I saw the trailer for "The Eye Has To Travel." I liked "The September Issue" and I planned on seeing this one since I actually like fashion documentaries.

I wanted to rate this book higher, but I just couldn't do it. I read an edition from 1984 and it seemed like in later editions there were some additions to the text. I can see that.

On to the book: It was a slow start on this one. There's no doubt that Diana Vreeland was one of those big, fashion personalities and that translates into the book. But that doesn't necessarily make for a good book. Interesting, but not good.

I wish the editors, TWO of them, would have taken a firmer hand with the text. Since she is a big personality, maybe they did and this is what they came up with anyway. With that being said, that's the main reason I didn't like the book - its overly conversational style. There needed to be some overarching perspective, more guidance to draw out the stories and keep them focused. Vreeland was born in 1909 or so and died in the late 1980's. That's a lot of the world to see and be involved in, let alone in the fashion industry.

Vreeland tends to ramble in the book. Sometimes her stories go on too long and they don't lead anywhere. Some times she talks like you know exactly who these people she's talking about are. Maybe she couldn't fathom that someone twenty or thirty years later would be interested in reading a book about her? Hell, I wanted to know more about her time at Harper's and Vogue, the Met even. She glosses over that!!! She spent most of her time talking about her early life as a pampered housewife with little to no formal education. I wanted to know how she made the transition from practically do nothing (she had lots of servants- Vreeland noted, I'm paraphrasing, to my disgust that she was prepared to work at Vogue because she knew how to run a house full of servants) to do almost everything kind of person. The Harper's, Vogue and Met stories, as meager as they are, don't come in until the last third of the book or less. Seriously!?!

Another problem I had with the story being told in her own words, was the way she exoticized people of color. I'm a POC and I have a problem with that. It happens way too much in fashion (just this week: Dolce and Gabbana/Victoria's Secret I'm looking at you!).

On the one had Vreeland was born in 1909, but the book came out in '84. It could have said something. Perhaps this has been addressed in later editions. I was ready to throw the book across the room when I read how she described one Italian man's outfit in detail but called him a "wop" like it was nothing. I was burning when she was fawning over Josephine Baker, like drooling over her physical description (it was kind of creepy). But then went on saying "there's a black in the room! There's a black in the room!" UGH! F&*!K you, Vreeland! Also she was known to have a huge collection of blackamoor pieces. She still seems to be ahead of the fashion curve since she was going to try to bring that back in the 80's and Dolce and Gabbana seems to think it's a good idea to use them now on the runway. Give 'em what they didn't know they wanted! Yeah....doesn't always work.

Despite Vreeland getting an F in race relations. She did have some gems, just in time for election season, too. "I know news when I see it! What are we talking about...pleasing the bourgeoisie of North Dakota? We're talking fashion!" I want "pleasing the bourgeoisie of North Dakota" to be used way more often! This is full line, "Actually, I can't stand novels-I don't care what happens to people on paper." That one needs to go into rotation too, "I don't care what happens to people on paper." Although I obviously love reading, unlike her. ...more
1

November 1, 2007

well, I'll never get that time back
If you're looking for some insights into fashion and/or the fashion world, look else where. I thought I'd gain some insights to the world of fashion (an area of life that I'm not famailiar with) but I was very disappointed. Nothing but nothing in this book had to do with fashion, the fashion business, nor the intellectual exercise that goes into fashion. This was simply the rambling lifetime memories of a well respected player from the fashion field. Childhood, young adult, married, Europe, here, there, everywhere... if you like name dropping (and I admit she did drop some impressive names) - this book is for you. If you're looking for some insights into fashion and/or the fashion world, look else where.
5

Sep 28, 2017

A madcap romp through the whirly-gig mind of a madcap fashion diva. Superficial, artificial, and appallingly aristocratic she may be, but Vreeland's high camp persona unfolds on the page as pure comic gold.
5

June 9, 2005

DV = DiVine
Okay, all the stereotypes might be true for this one, but it's a classic. She's in charge, in control and just amazing. I've bought more copies of this book to "loan" but of course no one has ever been stupid enough to return it. Truely, buy two copies to begin with, so you aren't crushed when the one you loan out doesn't come back. I think of it the way Gideons think of Bibles.
1

Aug 16, 2009

I was so excited to read this autobiography since she was a legend in the fashion world and the personal inspiration behind the fashion company I'm currently working for. I stopped reading at about page 50 when it dawned on me that Diana Vreeland was the Paris Hilton of her time. She was a spoiled, pampered, uneducated woman (she never went to high school) who enjoyed shocking people, and had an overly high opinion of her own sparkle. She became famous and powerful purely on the basis of her I was so excited to read this autobiography since she was a legend in the fashion world and the personal inspiration behind the fashion company I'm currently working for. I stopped reading at about page 50 when it dawned on me that Diana Vreeland was the Paris Hilton of her time. She was a spoiled, pampered, uneducated woman (she never went to high school) who enjoyed shocking people, and had an overly high opinion of her own sparkle. She became famous and powerful purely on the basis of her money and family.

Actually, her style reminded me of the autobiography of Elsa Schiaparrelli in the rambling DAH-LING type stream of consciousness. The difference to me was that Schiap actually contributed something original and meaningful to the world of art and fashion. She had a business and felt a responsibility to work. Vreeland..not so much.

...more
5

Sep 13, 2012

This book could not be more charmant! It reads as though Diana is speaking directly to you, and I suspect it was transcribed from conversations with a friend/relative (though I haven't looked it up to confirm yet). It is also written with her inflections, which makes it so easy to "hear" her voice.

Mrs. Vreeland was just so fabulous! Though I am sure many of her stories were embellished, it is for the sake of a good story and therefore completely allowable, as Diana would say. On one page she is This book could not be more charmant! It reads as though Diana is speaking directly to you, and I suspect it was transcribed from conversations with a friend/relative (though I haven't looked it up to confirm yet). It is also written with her inflections, which makes it so easy to "hear" her voice.

Mrs. Vreeland was just so fabulous! Though I am sure many of her stories were embellished, it is for the sake of a good story and therefore completely allowable, as Diana would say. On one page she is chatting with (or gossiping about) some royals, on another she is making a comment to Audrey Hepburn or visiting with Coco Chanel. Her life was unbelievable, and though I don't share all of her points of view, she was so full of sass and pep that I just didn't care. She keeps it light, silly, and ridiculous. Fabulous. ...more
5

Dec 13, 2012

Reads like a conversation. It is a conversation. I loved it- completely- and read it in about 2 days. People who say it is superficial don't get it. She lived a BEAUTIFUL life- was brilliant- and completely understood the art of living well.

5

December 13, 2007

Over the top fun
It's time the world rediscovered Diana Vreeland. She's the maven we'd all love to be. Friend to all the rich and famous, she moved freely in high society, imprinting it with her personal style and never losing her earthiness. When she made her faux pas, they were so hilarious that nobody even thought of suing her. Owners of major European fashion houses gave her their clothes because they knew that they'd be seen by all the best (read "richest") people, who would no doubt pay the clothes more attention than they did dear Diana's plain face (she acknowledged it as so herself). If ever a person made the most of every card she was dealt, it was Diana Vreeland. And "DV" is a narrative of her very own world with details you never knew before. (I'll give you one tidbit as a hint: Edward VI made up his mind that he didn't want to be king LONG before he met Wally Simpson.) Buy this book and enter Vreeland's parlour for some revealing and often amusing gossip about nearly every high society character of her times--royalty, high profile politicians (including the Kennedys in their prime), artists, authors--everyone who made the news worth reading. Warning: once you enter Vreeland's world, you'll never want to leave. A person like this comes along at best once or twice in a century. A marvelous read and look at a world we'll probably never see the like of again.
3

May 15, 2014

Not really what I was expecting. It isn't a book so much as it is the transcription of interviews. I'd say the "editing" rather than "transcription" if it read like it had been well edited. It doesn't.

Vreeland rambles for 32 chapters and she has some interesting stories but mostly she gossips and indulges in a lot of self-adulation. For someone who held a key position in the fashion industry she sheds remarkably little light on the actual work. Unlike other reviewers, I refuse to react with Not really what I was expecting. It isn't a book so much as it is the transcription of interviews. I'd say the "editing" rather than "transcription" if it read like it had been well edited. It doesn't.

Vreeland rambles for 32 chapters and she has some interesting stories but mostly she gossips and indulges in a lot of self-adulation. For someone who held a key position in the fashion industry she sheds remarkably little light on the actual work. Unlike other reviewers, I refuse to react with cringing horror to her various racial and gender stereotyping that is perfectly in context with her time. I just can't seem to get out of bed for that kind of false indignation anymore. But the lack of real content is unforgivable.

Yes, she can be pithy, but if you let a recorder run for 400 hours you could probably get any dullard to say one or two clever things. It just wasn't enough to justify this book and all of the accolades afforded this book.

Once again, the fashion industry sucker punched me. But you know how it is, fool me once...

I have no one to blame but myself. ...more
2

Sep 26, 2012

this was certainly...well, interesting.

diana vreeland was obviously a one-of-a-kind character, and possessed some whimsical brilliance. however, her privileges offered her an almost maddening sense of obliviousness to the world around her.

example? her comments on WWII were more about how she refuses to talk about politics and about how devastated she was that she couldn't visit paris for five years. there is no acknowledgement of the horrors of the time, nor the lives lost.

while i find the this was certainly...well, interesting.

diana vreeland was obviously a one-of-a-kind character, and possessed some whimsical brilliance. however, her privileges offered her an almost maddening sense of obliviousness to the world around her.

example? her comments on WWII were more about how she refuses to talk about politics and about how devastated she was that she couldn't visit paris for five years. there is no acknowledgement of the horrors of the time, nor the lives lost.

while i find the perspective fascinating (albeit often infuriating), i couldn't relate to her at all, nor did i aspire to be her. while she obviously was a lovable, clever person, i could not get past her lack of intellect, blatant racism, and complete and utter lack of awareness to the world around her.

it wasn't a terrible read, but it certainly was hard to get through. ...more
2

Jan 31, 2008

This book is the literary equivalent of cotton candy...sweet, pretty, completely lacking in substance, and it will make you sick if you ingest too much in one sitting. I find Vreeland to be a fascinating woman but I think she would fare better as the subject of a biography, as opposed to an autobiography. This book isn't really written--it appears to have been lifted from a conversation and transcribed. But it is difficult not to have great fondness for a book with lines like "Lettuce is divine, This book is the literary equivalent of cotton candy...sweet, pretty, completely lacking in substance, and it will make you sick if you ingest too much in one sitting. I find Vreeland to be a fascinating woman but I think she would fare better as the subject of a biography, as opposed to an autobiography. This book isn't really written--it appears to have been lifted from a conversation and transcribed. But it is difficult not to have great fondness for a book with lines like "Lettuce is divine, although I'm not sure it's really food" and "Asparagus should be sexy." ...more
3

Jun 18, 2018

I've been meaning to read this ever since seeing it referenced in To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, which is one of my favorite movies ever. I found the first couple dozen pages rather obnoxious, until I adjusted my expectations and unbent enough to enjoy this piece of antiquated, frivolous nonsense. As the author reveals towards the end, many of her charming anecdotes never actually happened; this is a book that's more about capturing a mood and a tone of voice than it is relating I've been meaning to read this ever since seeing it referenced in To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, which is one of my favorite movies ever. I found the first couple dozen pages rather obnoxious, until I adjusted my expectations and unbent enough to enjoy this piece of antiquated, frivolous nonsense. As the author reveals towards the end, many of her charming anecdotes never actually happened; this is a book that's more about capturing a mood and a tone of voice than it is relating historical events. ...more
4

Oct 15, 2010

Diana Vreeland has such a wonderful voice and is so amusing. One of the cover blurbs says "D.V. is a champagne party" and that's completely true of my experience of reading it. It's very conversational in tone. Really, her turns of phrase are the reason to read this book. Sure, she may not be telling the utmost truth about her life - and she admits that - but even so she's clearly had an extraordinary one. I particularly loved chapter sixteen where she talks about her love of color.
2

Oct 16, 2012

The editor of vogue during the 1950s and 1960s was influential and worldly. She doesn't come off that way in this rambling memoir. There's a lot of name dropping. It's also a bit frustrating that she lived during some great historical moments and has a very superficial grasp of her eras. It's like reading the memoir of Bertie Wooster or a character from Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. Her old-fashioned ideas on women and race made for some uncomfortable reading.
5

May 07, 2015

There is absolutely not anything I could say about this book that would be enough. Sparkling, wildly charming, outlandish, bold, captivating... That any such human with such brains and passion and zest ever lived is remarkable. I could happily turn back to page one and read it again and again.

Five stars!
5

Jan 23, 2009

A must read for anyone hoping to develop any sense of style. I have to read it every few years jut to recharge. Diana Vreeland is living proof that one need not be pretty in order to be Glamourous.
4

Feb 10, 2017

I learned that this book was culled from conversations Diana Vreeland had with the author, George Plimpton. It does read like a one-sided conversation or dictation that side-tracks a lot. Nevertheless, it is entertaining. The greatest lesson I learned was that, although born to privilege, she had no formal education and was told frequently by her mother that she was ugly. Despite that, she felt beautiful inside, believed in herself, and embraced every adventure that came her way...and there were I learned that this book was culled from conversations Diana Vreeland had with the author, George Plimpton. It does read like a one-sided conversation or dictation that side-tracks a lot. Nevertheless, it is entertaining. The greatest lesson I learned was that, although born to privilege, she had no formal education and was told frequently by her mother that she was ugly. Despite that, she felt beautiful inside, believed in herself, and embraced every adventure that came her way...and there were many. The woman lived an exceptional, exciting life! ...more
5

October 23, 2008

who cares if it might not be true?
I've heard that not every word of "D.V." is necessarily, you know, true. Well, whatever. In an age of fraud and being less than truthful to the public, it's permissible here because D.V. has such a good time, and really, we'll never know with someone who led a life that epitomized the meaning of glamor and style. D.V. is from the era just before tabloidery, going commando, and movie stars traveling with stylists, and her memoir is less about real events than how one person decided to do it all in grand style. While I usually balk at any personal histories that seem a bit too much on the "so privileged, la-di-dah" side, D.V.'s prose reveals only her elegance and her joy at being around style and trendsetting in all its forms - art, achievement, derring-do.

Her madcap writing, asides, and tangents provide little snippets about how she felt people ought to comport themselves, and if you aren't terribly on the very serious side, you will enjoy it or at least enjoy getting to know Mrs. Vreeland. Let's hope that we make a return to style being something more than where you got your hat. Or let's bring back hats.
5

November 23, 2017

Five Stars
Too Wong foo thanks for everything miss Julie newmar brought me here.
4

Feb 19, 2018

I haven't read a book in so long due to lack of time, which is pretty unfortunate. This was a fun one, and hopefully will help get me back on the reading horse.

Diana Vreeland is a freaking character. She's vain and self-centered and likable and smart and name-drops like it's her job. This felt like a I was having a lunch date with Diana and she rambled on and on, but there was something so endearing about that!

Yes, the egotism seemed to result in extreme exaggeration, insertion of herself into I haven't read a book in so long due to lack of time, which is pretty unfortunate. This was a fun one, and hopefully will help get me back on the reading horse.

Diana Vreeland is a freaking character. She's vain and self-centered and likable and smart and name-drops like it's her job. This felt like a I was having a lunch date with Diana and she rambled on and on, but there was something so endearing about that!

Yes, the egotism seemed to result in extreme exaggeration, insertion of herself into every historic moment ever, and a sort of occasionally frustrating rejection of anything serious. (Like, she wrote about the Nazi's underwear and Hitler's mustache, and that was basically it.)

This was also such grand leap from my world; loved getting an inside scoop into that high society world. A good read, for sure. ...more
4

Sep 12, 2019

What I can say about the DiVine Diana Vreeland that hasn't been said?! But this book... I read an excerpt of it decades ago in Vogue & it's has haunted me since.
It was as I expected, but even more so. It's almost a fin-de-siecle book... overwhelming with the force of the author's personality.
There are parts that are beyond recherche, to the point of reactionary. Hers was a very rarified, privileged world. At least, that's how I see it, 35 years after first being exposed to it, and having What I can say about the DiVine Diana Vreeland that hasn't been said?! But this book... I read an excerpt of it decades ago in Vogue & it's has haunted me since.
It was as I expected, but even more so. It's almost a fin-de-siecle book... overwhelming with the force of the author's personality.
There are parts that are beyond recherche, to the point of reactionary. Hers was a very rarified, privileged world. At least, that's how I see it, 35 years after first being exposed to it, and having learned a bit since the mid-80's.
Still breathless, and no one interested in fashion and style should ignore this memoir. ...more

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